Today, Right Now, Your Potential Is Unlimited

“Will you ever bring a better gift for the world than the breathing respect you carry wherever you go right now?”
William Stafford

This quote about being in the now, the present moment got me thinking about something I often explore with clients. Many of the people I serve have terrible trauma in their backgrounds. They come for help to get clean and sober and soon the trauma comes to the surface because they are not longer numbing out. Over the long term with at least a couple of years of sobriety, they might then begin to look at the past issues. However until they clear their head and feel stable, they must just work on being present. That work is challenging because the thoughts of their haunting past and pleading for a better future dominate the workings of their mind.

My clients represent the harder edge of life but you and I can clearly identify with our minds dredging through the past and living in hope for a better future. The past is the past and the least time you spend there in your thinking the better. If you are dominated by the past you are not present. If you can’t let go of what happened then you may be beating yourself up about it in the now. Whatever happened then, it is not now unless you bring it forward with your thoughts.

Having hope is a great idea as long as you don’t forget to live today as it unfolds. If you barely hang on today by focusing on tomorrow, you will miss what the moment has to offer. You and the rest of us have thoughts about when you have this or that, or complete school, or have the right body weight, or find a better partner or whatever the future hope is. This living in the future keeps you missing what is present in your life.

For my clients, living in the present is the only sane place to be and that is true for you and I. If my clients live in the past they will beat themselves up mentally until they go drink or drug. If you get away from being present, you may find yourself upset because of what you miss out on. Being anywhere but now can be frustrating and upsetting.

Here is a simple technique to try when you catch yourself thinking about the past or the future in a way that is not working for you: Slow your mind down and say loudly to yourself “Stop, Be Present, Stop, Be Present.” This short statement will remind you that you are at your best when you are fully present to your life.

You must take control of your mind to realize its full potential. That potential exists only in the present moment not at some future date. Today, right now, your potential is unlimited.